Best Ways to Remove Hardwood Floor Stains

Hardwood Floor StainLike many other home-owners, I am sure you love your hardwood floor; especially when it is spotlessly perfect. However, with kids, pets, and general household accidents, it is practically impossible to protect the floor from stains, especially if you just use a vacuum cleaner all the time.

Common stains include liquid spillages (such as juice, liquor or coffee), urine from kids and pets, and marker streaks. Rather than panicking, always refer to this guide whenever the perfection of your hardwood floor is compromised.

Know the Basics of Stains

Before you attempt to remove any hardwood stain, it is very important for you to understand it well. Each stain is likely to react to a removing agent differently. The last thing you want is to enlarge a stain as you attempt to remove it.

Below are some basics that you need to know:

1. How long has the stain lasted on the floor?

It is always best when you start removing a stain as soon as possible. Although hardwood floors are typically impervious, there are some liquids that will manage to penetrate through the surface and bleed through it over time. That calls for a different removal technique from a stain that is barely on the surface.

2. Which removal agent is the best?

Some types of hardwood react to common cleaning agents like water. At the same time, some stains cannot be removed by your typical bleach (like white vinegar or chlorine). That means that it is extremely important for you to know the type of stain that is on your floor and the best removal agent to match it with. The following sections examine some common stains and how you can remove them.

Water Stains

You can identify a water stain easily by examining the type of ring on your hardwood floor. A typical water stain will leave a white or black ring.

Whereas a white ring water stain is easy to clean, a black one is harder. That is because a black ring means that the water has penetrated the hardwood.

If you are dealing with a white ring water stain, you have quite a number of options to explore. Start by covering the stain with a dry cotton cloth. Set you iron to ‘no steam’ and let it heat. Once it is hot, use it to rub the cloth for three to five seconds.

For your second option, soak a fine piece of steel wool in lemon oil and then use it to rub the surface gently. Finally, try using a cloth that has been dampened in denatured alcohol to rub the surface for a few seconds.

If the ring is black, your options are reduced to two. First, try rubbing the surface with a brush and bleach (preferably oxalic acid). Repeat the rub after a couple of hours and let the floor to rest.

The second alternative is for you to strip, sand and then reseal the area. You can treat iron rust stains in the same way as black ring water stains.

Greasy Stains

Greasy stains can be removed easily using a mixture of ammonia and cold water. Use a soft cloth to apply.

Dye Stains

Dye stains are mostly caused by blood, grape juice, tea and coffee spills. To remove such stains, simply apply a saturated solution of chlorine bleach two or three times and leave the floor overnight.

Although some people use regular laundry bleach, I wouldn’t recommend it. It is weak, and you might end up getting frustrated by its ineffectiveness. The best bleach to use is Shock Treatment (swimming pool bleach). Simply mix its crystals with hot water and stir.

After you have applied it, you can neutralize the surface with vinegar.

Organic Stains

Some examples of organic stains are feces and urine. They are the toughest stains. However, you can remove them with highly concentrated sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide (27%).

These products can be found in Klean-Srtip (the most readily available). After removal, you will need to wash the surface with water. It might leave an off white color.

To correct that, you can add a matching stain to the spot so that it blends with the rest of the floor.


Stains on your hardwood floor should not cause you sleepless nights. The information that has been presented above is very straightforward yet effective. Simply identify the type of stain and match it with its best cleaning agent and you will be able to keep your floor perfect.

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